UCLA basketball: Is Lazeric Jones going to take the fifth? [Updated]
UCLA's starting lineup figured to consist of small forward Tyler Honeycutt, shooting guard Malcolm Lee, power forward Reeves Nelson and center Joshua Smith, provided the mammoth Smith's conditioning did not bump him to the second unit.
The only unknown was who would win the starting point guard position, Lazeric Jones or Jerime Anderson.
If Monday's practice was any indication, Jones will be on the floor when the Bruins open their season against Cal State Northridge on Nov. 12 at Pauley Pavilion. Jones worked with the aforementioned foursome throughout Monday's practice, the only session all season open to the media.
Anderson split the starting point guard duties with Malcolm Lee last season but struggled so mightily that Howland brought in Jones, the first junior college player expected to play heavy minutes since Jack Haley during the 1986-87 season.
Neither point guard stood out during Monday's practice. Jones worked a five-second call on Anderson with strong defense during one possession. Later, Anderson freed himself of Jones with a screen only to badly miss a shot. But Jones also made a couple of turnovers on bad passes.
"Terrible turnover," Coach Ben Howland said after one Jones pass was intercepted by Tyler Lamb.
[UPDATE: Howland said after the practice that the players wearing white jerseys — Smith, Nelson, Lee, Honeycutt and Jones — were not necessarily his starters, calling them "just what we were working with today." But Lee said that before practice, Howland had said, "starters in white." Lee added: "I’ve noticed we’ve been working in that unit with each other."]
Photo: UCLA guard Jerime Anderson, who struggled running the point for the Bruins last season, is battling junior college transfer Lazeric Jones for a starting position. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times